WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every Tuesday form expert Alan Thomson pinpoints horses primed to strike in the next few weeks, if not days. Remember, you can add Alan's weekly updates to your ATR Tracker.
FOLLOW THE LAMA WHEN THE SUN COMES OUT
Pulled up on her first start for Venetia Williams but showed that run to be all wrong by handing out a five-length beating to Lightening Rod. Plaisir D'amour grabbed the initiative turning for home and stayed on bravely down the straight under 11st 12lb, suggesting she could hold her own in better company for this in-form yard.
A dual Hereford winner over 3m 1f on good ground back in October, Some Kinda Lama returned from a short break to run a fine race in defeat. Racing off a mark a stone higher than his last success, the six-year-old was restrained off the pace by Noel Fehily and was given quite a bit to do as winner Rocky's Treasure made the best of his way home from two out.
Some Kinda Lama kept plugging away and was less than a length adrift at the line. Charlie Mann will be looking for a sound surface for his improving grey this spring.
Left behind an abject hurdles debut at Musselburgh by spread-eagling his field under a more positive ride. Soldier In Action was a smart middle-distance type for Mark Johnston, landing a Goodwood handicap off 94 in October, and doesn't mind a bit of cut underfoot.
Triumph Hurdle quotes of 25-1 look on the generous side as he should be suited by a strong end-to-end gallop.
Accident-prone would be one way to describe Sainte Ladylime's recent outings and she unluckily threw away this mares' handicap hurdle when taking a false step and unseating her rider when just about in front at the penultimate flight.
Kim Bailey's mare had previously lost her undercarriage on landing over the final fence at Bangor but she is useful when enjoying a clear round. Sainte Ladylime rattled off a quick hat-trick during March last year and this could be her time of year.
Having only his fourth start for Jonjo O'Neill and the five-year-old showed signs of inexperience before readily mastering Rock My Style at the final flight. Forza Milan stayed every inch of this extended 2m 3f trip and will be winning again.
This young Borders chaser is proving expensive to follow as his jumping under pressure leaves something to be desired, a frustrating trait he again displayed when outpointed by Zamdy Man. Sandy Thomson's gelding has a serious engine, however, and it is surely only a matter of time before The Dutchman puts it all together again.